Firm Profile > Latham & Watkins > London, England
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Latham & Watkins > The Legal 500 Rankings
Acquisition finance Tier 1Recognised as one of 'the most broad based practices in Europe', Latham & Watkins has an 'equally strong loan and bond franchise', as well as 'an in-depth knowledge of precedents', ensuring that the team is trusted to handle the biggest-ticket cross-border deals for a balanced roster of banks and private equity sponsors. Co-headed by Sam Hamilton ('one of the smartest, most effective and commercial lawyers in London') and the 'excellent' Mohamed Nurmohamed, the sheer size of the team, both in London but also across Europe and the US, ensures that it 'can run multiple trees without any capacity issues' and is able to handle a tremendous volume and range of leveraged deals, covering all parts of the capital structure. Alongside Hamilton, the 'indefatigable' Jayanthi Sadanandan and Dominic Newcomb, who 'knows the market inside out', are the key practitioners on the sponsor side. For lender work, in addition to Nurmohamed, Ross Anderson and the 'vastly experienced' Stephen Kensell are recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm has large leveraged finance and high yield teams, which is extremely helpful when you’ve got trees or deals with tight timelines.’
‘No matter who we’re working with, they are practical and commercial, complete work quickly and provide great advice. Their associates are very efficient at turning documents and making sure we have no concerns about ancillary documents.’
‘This is without question the best law firm for leveraged finance in Europe, because it has an equally strong loan and bond franchise, which is unusual in the market, as well as very seasoned lawyers with lots of transaction experience and in-depth knowledge of precedents.’
‘Stephen Kensell is the voice of wisdom.’
‘Jayanthi Sadanandan is the trusted advisor to many private equity partners.’
‘Jayanthi Sadanandan is a machine, who out-works everyone else in the room and is indefatigable.’
‘Sam Hamilton is one of the smartest and most effective and commercial lawyers in London and should be regarded as his generation’s market-leading finance lawyer.’
‘Sam Hamilton has very deep and broad knowledge and experience, combined with a great sense for what is commercially important.’
‘Dominic Newcomb knows his market inside out and is an encyclopaedia of deal terms for his top clients.’
The Carlyle Group
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Benefiting from significant 'strength in depth', as a result of numerous recent strategic hires, including counsel David Wallace from Alcentra and former Mayer Brown International LLP partner Jessica Walker, Latham & Watkins' team is increasingly well-placed to advise a diverse array of stakeholders across a range of mandates. Under the guidance of the 'vastly experienced' Simon J Baskerville, the team has, however, perhaps gained most visibility in the special situations and distressed investing field, for funds and alternative credit providers investing at a par CLO level as well as at a discount on the secondary markets. Sophisticated funds clients benefit from the firm's understanding of the market and its ability to advise on Chapter 11 procedures, by virtue of its US heritage and offices. Highly regarded partner Yen Sum has 'done a fantastic job' since her arrival in July 2018 from Sidley Austin LLP and has leveraged her strong relationships with asset managers, hedge and credit funds to secure prominent positions on numerous high-profile mandates. John Houghton has vast experience in the market for sponsors and creditors and is a key practitioner in a team that also includes Jennifer Brennan, who regularly works alongside Sum on work for funds clients.
Other key lawyers:
The firm gives a banking solution with people that understand insolvency and the downside scenario, and think about what can go wrong and how it will play out.
Simon Baskerville is vastly experienced.
Simon Baskerville and Yen Sum stand out based on their considerable experience.
The very hands-on James Chesterman is accessible to clients and always on top of the work his team is performing.
Straight shooter James Chesterman has a ton of experience, which helps him be open minded to new ideas.
Hayfin Capital Management
Oaktree Capital Management
Energy and infrastructure Tier 1Latham & Watkins has been steadily building up its London energy and infrastructure offering in recent years with a series of high-profile hires from major UK competitors. Former Allen & Overy LLP partner Conrad Andersen now serves as global vice chair of the US firm’s energy and infrastructure industry group; he works with ex-Clifford Chance LLP infrastructure transactions specialist Brendan Moylan and former Herbert Smith Freehills LLP global energy co-head John Balsdon; all three joined the firm during 2017 and 2018. Private equity specialist John Guccione also recently joined from OMERS Infrastructure.
The experience of Latham & Watkins' heavyweight team comes to the fore in groundbreaking IPOs and other headline-grabbing ECM transactions, where it advises issuers, financial sponsors and investment banks. Highlights included James Inness leading the UK team, which advised the underwriters on Saudi Aramco's IPO on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul); this was the largest IPO in history. Inness also acted for DNEG on its proposed IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Olof Clausson is another key figure in the team, which was strengthened by Chris Horton's arrival from Simmons & Simmons in late 2019. David Boles departed for Cooley (UK) LLP in early 2020, with Claire Keast-Butler making the same move a year prior.
‘I was impressed by L&W’s ability to seamlessly divide and conquer issues and tasks. Separate teams would deal with issues that could be dealt with modularly and the L&W teams then always worked to coordinate on their end. If issues were dealt with in series versus in parallel there simply would not have been time to deal with the many issues that arose over the course of the transaction.‘
‘Very credible and experienced practitioners who are commercially aware.‘
‘James Inness is an excellent lawyer who analyses situations from a variety of perspectives. He also brings considerable experience from the large number of transactions, often complex, that he has worked on. He also has a capacity to get the job done in a very efficient manner, anticipating challenges on projects before they occur.‘
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
CVC Capital Partners
Helios Investment Partners
TI Fluid Systems
Fintech Tier 1Latham & Watkins' fintech team leverages the firm's global reach and its strong presence in the US to provide comprehensive regulatory and commercial support to clients in the fintech space. Practice head Andrew Moyle advises financial institutions and start-ups on the technology aspects of payments, insurtech and virtual currencies. He also has the necessary expertise to advise clients on commercial contracts, outsourcing arrangements and cloud computing. Stuart Davis has remarkably broad expertise in the field. His experience includes acting for numerous central banks in relation to the development of fintech products and market infrastructure; advising media companies on the regulatory aspects of establishing virtual currencies; and guiding tech companies through IPOs. Fiona Maclean is a name to note for cloud outsourcing and data privacy. Of recent note, Moyle and Davis led the team that advised Nivaura on the regulatory challenges of developing a novel platform for creating, clearing and settling tokenised equity using blockchain technology.
‘This team has deep experience in digital assets and capital markets and is able to go into significant detail on the content, structure, and implementations of digital asset markets and products.’
‘The firm’s capital markets legal and regulatory expertise is unparalleled. Andrew Moyle, Stuart Davis, Sam Maxson and the London team have been instrumental in some of the groundbreaking work we’ve done in automated securities issuances.’
‘Stuart Davis has the rare combination of understanding the commercial needs for a proposition, possessing the EQ to negotiate highly competently on our behalf with key stakeholders and having the deep legal knowledge expected of a top tier lawyer.’
‘Stuart Davis in particular is able and eager to understand new digital asset products and markets, and identify the industry initiatives and regulations that are most relevant.’
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
World Economic Forum
180 Digital Assets
Tencent Holdings Limited
Morgan Stanley International Limited
Circle UK Trading Limited
Herzog Fox & Neeman (HFN)
eToro Group Limited
Central Bank of Egypt
High yield Tier 1
Latham & Watkins has the largest high-yield practice in London and is seen by many as 'the gold standard for high-yield deals’. The group is versatile in that it can handle high-yield bonds, whether under European or US law, or institutional term loans that use similar covenant packages. Acting mainly for banks, though also for issuers, the practice is twice the size of any other high-yield team in the City. As well as leading the market in volume, the firm is also involved in cutting-edge deals for investment banks, private equity sponsors and corporates across a range of industries. It has recently worked on hybrid products, regulatory limitations, and numerous public-to-private (P2P) transactions such as R12 Kapital AB’s takeover of Oriflame Holdings AG. Its work covers a wide range of industry sectors including distressed debt, financial institutions, telecoms, retail, energy and natural resources, chemicals, infrastructure, real estate, care homes and the food industry. Brett Cassidy leads a practice that has a deep bench of outstanding practitioners, among them Jocelyn Seitzman, Scott Colwell, Jennifer Engelhardt, Francesco Lione, James Burnett and up-and-coming partners Matthew Schneider and Fritz Ernemann.
Other key lawyers:
‘It has the most respected practice in the City. They are the giants with the biggest market share.’
‘The firm is gold standard for high-yield deals.’
‘For my most difficult deals, they are the best.’
‘It has a deep and strong bench of lawyers and a good base of associates coming through. The team is approachable and responsive. It has good depth of experience globally around situations and issues.’
‘Jocelyn Seitzman, Scott Colwell and Jenn Engelhardt are my standout contacts there. They are always responsive, excellent technical lawyers but also great personal people to work alongside.’
CVC Capital Partners
Infrastructure (PFI and PPP) Tier 1
The infrastructure team at Latham & Watkins in London has been growing rapidly in recent years, with a number of high profile hires boosting its profile in the market. Most recently the firm added finance partner Steve Curtis from Clifford Chance LLP, with his recruitment following that of practice heads Conrad Andersen and Brendan Moylan . The practice now has experience across a range of infrastructure assets ranging from energy and renewables to utilities, transport and telecoms, with Andersen, who clients praise for his 'dynamism and professionalism' and Moylan having a strong background advising infrastructure and sovereign wealth funds investing in the sector. Seonaid Todisco is also recommended.
‘The infrastructure financing team at Latham has an excellent grasp of the finance market and a deep understanding of market positions across the key documentation.’
‘Very strong infrastructure expertise, both from an M&A and financing perspective.’
‘The LW infra practice is truly a standout. They are the leading finance practice on infrastructure transactions in the London market and a go-to adviser for both sponsors and banks, in particular when looking for advice on complex transactions.’
‘Conrad Andersen is one of the best practising infrastructure lawyers in the City. He is heavily involved in transactions and is instrumental in delivering the whole proposition.’
‘Conrad Andersen understands the wider context of a deal, has a strong sense of what is likely to be acceptable to the market, clearly communicates key risks and has a firm grasp on the interests of borrowers and lenders. He is also a pleasure to work with. There is no other partner that I would refer to have on my side on deals.’
‘Seonaid Todisco has a great eye for detail, turns documentation around incredibly quickly and is able to provide clear advice during negotiation and in-life, as she retains an excellent understanding of key transaction documents long after they have been signed.’
Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners
Universities Superannuation Scheme
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners
First State Investments
Oil and gas Tier 1Latham & Watkins leverages its top-tier expertise to handle matters across the full life-cycle of a project, from exploration work to post-production, development and regulatory matters. Clients range from private equity houses and NOCs to banks and oil majors. Team leader Simon Tysoe specialises in upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas M&A, joint ventures, restructurings and project developments. John Balsdon, Craig Nethercott, Kem Ihenacho and Clement Fondufe have all been involved in major projects across the Middle East and Africa. Matthew Brown is recommended for project developments and project finance work in Latin America and Australia.
‘Top LNG practice. Very commercial. Have been in most flagship LNG projects globally and on the African continent.’
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
The Carlyle Group
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc
Indian Oil Corporation Limited
Latham & Watkins' financial services litigation team acts for an impressive breadth of financial services clients including established leading investment banks, wealth and asset managers and new market entrants. With a strong international network and US-presence, the group is particularly adept at handling cross-jurisdictional litigation and counts disputes arising from regulatory investigations and in defending multi-party claims among its areas of expertise. The team is jointly led by the 'very experienced, first-rate litigator' Jon Holland and the 'truly outstanding' Andrea Monks who 'is superb at managing high value and complex litigation'. Martin Davies, recently promoted Oliver Middleton, counsel Dan Smith and associate Nell Perks are other names to note. The group also leverages the firm's contentious financial regulatory team, led by Rob Moulton, as well as the expertise of its transactional finance practice.
‘A well regarded department with many high profile individuals and a great client base’
‘A strong banking and finance litigation team’
‘Jon Holland is a very experienced, first-rate litigator with an excellent litigation nose, who is also equipped with a great sense of humour’
‘Andrea Monks is a truly outstanding litigator who is extremely clever as well as being a brilliant tactician. She is superb at managing high value and complex litigation. Clients are queuing up at her door’
‘Andrea Monks is a very energetic and committed litigator who gets into the details and strives continuously to deliver the best possible outcome for the client’
Samba Financial Group
ABN AMRO Bank NV
Barclays Bank PLC
Rothesay Life plc
Thomas Cook Plc
Latham & Watkins advises its roster of international clients on GDPR compliance, data security and adtech matters. Gail Crawford heads up the team and has notable expertise in cross-border data compliance issues as well as data breaches. She is supported by Fiona Maclean, who acts on GDPR compliance matters and handles cloud migration deals. On the contentious side, Ian Felstead has experience in data protection and privacy actions, acting for both defendants and claimants.
Debt capital markets Tier 2Latham & Watkins has 'a professional and personable team that always has relevant knowledge of recent market trends'. Also notable is that the lawyers are 'willing to go the extra mile to provide advice outside their scope of work'. The London office is home to a significant US law capability, which puts it in a strong position to advise on Rule 144A offerings into the US; these transactions raise challenging issues around disclosure and diligence. The team is active in a wide range of matters, including those involving emerging markets debt, sovereign issuances, liability management and English law private placements. Lene Malthasen, who has more than 25 years of experience in the market, is a notable individual. Also recommended is David Stewart, whose practice is split between London and Moscow.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm has a professional and personable team that always has relevant knowledge of recent market trends.’
‘The team has individuals who are willing to go the extra mile to provide advice outside their scope of work‘.
‘Manoj Tulsiani is the best rising star in capital markets.’
Western Power Distribution
At Latham & Watkins, the structured finance, securitisation and derivatives practice has a broad-ranging practice built on a core derivatives team that handles structured equity, credit and emerging markets transactions for major financial institutions and corporate and fund clients. It has in-depth knowledge of swaps, options, forwards, repos, stock loans, securitised derivatives and structured notes across all asset classes. Sanjev Warna-Kula-Suriya and Dean Naumowicz lead the practice. Warna-kula-suriya handles cash and synthetic CLOs, as well as OTC and exchange-traded derivatives. Naumowicz has extensive experience advising on a wide range of derivatives and structured products including credit, equity, and commodity transactions. He is also well known for his expertise in shari'ah-compliant derivatives transactions and innovative financial structures in emerging markets. Up-and-coming partner Shatha Ali focuses on transactional and regulatory advice relating to derivatives and has extensive experience in OTC and structured finance transactions across asset classes including rates, equity and credit. So, too, do Jeremy Green and counsel Simeon Rudin. Counsel Thomas Cochran's practice includes CLOs and commodity-related finance transactions.
Latham & Watkins provides 'great strength in depth' and an ‘excellent litigation capability backed up by a very strong regulatory team'. The firm advises domestically and internationally on a range of contentious regulatory issues for large banks, asset managers and brokers. The ‘first-rate financial services litigator’ Jon Holland co-leads the practice with Andrea Monks, who is ‘able to give high-quality advice on a range of contentious banking issues, both litigation and regulatory in nature’. Also notable in the team are Stuart Alford QC, who focuses on economic crime and regulatory matters; and senior associate Nell Perks, who has particular expertise in culture and conduct issues.
‘Andrea Monks and Jon Holland are both outstanding – excellent tough litigators. Nell Perks who also came across with them is equally good’
‘Latham & Watkins has recruited excellent leaders and associates from many of the top practices in London’
‘Jon Holland is a seasoned litigator who also has very considerable experience of complex and wide-ranging regulatory investigations’
‘Andrea Monks’ approach is very practical and down-to-earth while still maintaining a high quality of work product’
‘Excellent service. Willing to guide the client’
‘Andrea Monks, David Berman, Mair Williams are extremely experienced in major financial services investigations, dispute resolution and handling delicate senior level Regulatory issues’
‘Technically and commercially highly astute and impressive’
‘The team mobilises very quickly and is available and flexible to meet demanding client needs’
‘Straight talkers – ensuring no time is wasted in getting to the heart of challenging issues’
‘David Berman is extremely experienced and technically sound, brings gravitas to the debate’
‘Andrea Monks and Jon Holland bring experience, gravitas and business solutions to stressed situations’
‘Latham has amassed a significantly sized regulatory team, with strength in depth across the team’
‘An ability to balance legal requirements with commercial practicality to craft solutions that no other firm could’
‘Capabilities across all areas of the law, understand the ecosystem and have trusted partners’
‘Stuart Davis has excellent commercial knowledge’
‘Able to bring together a team to successfully deliver very rapidly and with exceptionally high attention to detail’
‘Far from being a purely transactional support department, the team operates as a standalone practice and their expertise can often be beneficial’
‘Rob Moulton is vastly experienced and valued for his ability to advise clients based on an understanding of the detailed rules and the regulator’s expectations, as well as an appreciation of how markets and products function in practice’
‘Carl Fernandes is very reassuring, providing clarity of thought and measured advice’
Central Bank of Egypt
Sanford C Bernstein
Smith & Williamson
International arbitration Tier 2Latham & Watkins' London team has 'a superb international arbitration practice that has gone from strength to strength, attracts heavyweight clients across a wide range of sectors, and knows the international arbitration scene inside out'. It acts on the full scope of international arbitration matters, including multi-jurisdictional disputes, international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, PIL, and all related court proceedings at all court levels. The practice has two silks, namely global co-international arbitration practice chair Sophie Lamb QC and Philip Clifford QC, who is currently a UK representative on the ICC Commission on Arbitration. Also highly rated are chair of the London litigation and trial department Oliver Browne; investment treaty dispute expert Charles Claypoole; and Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert, who divides his time between the firm's London and Hamburg offices. Samuel Pape and Robert Price provide notable associate-level support.
Other key lawyers:
‘A superb international arbitration practice which has gone from strength to strength. They attract heavyweight clients across a wide range of sectors. They have huge experience and know the international arbitration scene inside out.’
‘Philip Clifford is the stand-out star in the team. Appointed Silk a couple of years ago, his practice has gone from strength to strength. He is a first-rate advocate with an unrivalled knowledge of the intricacies of arbitration law and practice.’
‘Oliver Browne is a junior partner who is an up and coming star.’
‘Sophie Lamb QC has a burgeoning practice.’
‘Olly Browne is one of the very top arbitration practitioners in London. He’s not flashy, it’s all about the substance. Really astute, puts together and leads great teams and delivers great results.’
‘Philip Clifford has unparalleled knowledge of arbitration disputes. He is also exceptionally hard-working, intelligent and client friendly. He is a very good manager and an outstanding lawyer.’
‘The strength and depth of the IA team is unquestionable, and the team in London reflects that at every level. Hard-working, appropriately aggressive on behalf of their clients, and particularly known for advocacy, this is a team to emulate.’
‘Philip Clifford QC is a stand-out practitioner: very experienced, a very engaging advocate, and thorough and focused on points of detail in a way which generates confidence that he knows his case thoroughly. Sophie Lamb QC is widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent arbitration lawyers of her generation and understandably so: her great charm and persuasive advocacy certainly stand to her clients’ credit.’
IT and telecoms Tier 2
The technology and regulatory focused practice at Latham & Watkins specialises in data driven and payment work, and also has expertise in fintech, insurtech and cloud-related issues. Fintech expert Andrew Moyle advises on technology, IP and commercial transactions and transformation initiatives, and co-leads the team with Gail Crawford, who is global chair of the firm’s data and technology transactions practice. The team also includes Fiona Maclean, who combines experience in commercial outsourcing mandates, innovative technologies and data privacy regulation; Christian McDermott, who advises on technology, commercial law, IP and data privacy matters; and associate Alain Traill, who has broad experience advising on outsourcing projects, commercial contracts and other technology arrangements.
Latham & Watkins' clients are 'impressed by the knowledge and expertise in all aspects of the entertainment business'. It attracts praise for its ability to utilise the 'unique skillsets' of lawyers across different departments and benefits from a strong US practice. Praised for her 'very strong business acumen', 'brilliant lawyer' Lisbeth Savill heads up the practice and advises on the creation, financing and distribution of film, television and other content. For commercial, media, technology and regulatory disputes, Ian Felstead is a name to note. The group has strengthened its transactional capabilities with the arrivals of Patrick Mitchell (who joined from DLA Piper and has particular media rights and distribution arrangements expertise) and head of the corporate and emerging companies group Mike Turner, who joined from Taylor Wessing LLP and handles venture capital, private equity, and M&A transactions in the sector. Clare Hardwick left the practice to establish a media consultancy business.
‘Team works well together despite being in different countries. Each team member has a unique skill set which is utilised effectively.‘
‘Very thorough, always available and willing to go above and beyond.‘
‘I have been using L&W for a few years now and have always been impressed by the knowledge and expertise in all aspects of the entertainment business.‘
‘Libby Savills is the partner with who I work with. I have known Libby for years. Her knowledge, experience and skills are second to none. Libby is not only a brilliant lawyer, she also has very strong business acumen and has been a valuable counsel.‘
Cohen Media Group LLC.
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Warner Bros Entertainment Inc
Anonymous Content LLC
British Colombia Investment Management Corporation
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
CVC Capital Partners
Global Infrastructure Partners
Goldman Sachs PIA
Helios Investment Partners
Hellman & Friedman
KSL Capital Partners
Leonard Green & Partners
Preservation Capital Partners
Silver Lake Partners
The Carlyle Group
Public international law Tier 2Latham & Watkins' PIL practice is 'extremely well organised and professional, with the highest level of knowledge and expertise in public international law'. It advises on a broad range of specialist PIL issues, including international boundary law and Law of the Sea disputes, investment treaty law, international trade law, including WTO matters; and international trade sanctions, including acting as counsel in challenge proceedings before the European courts. The practice also fields experts in state and sovereign immunity law, international humanitarian law and human rights law, and has a substantial investment treaty arbitration practice. Sanctions practice head Charles Claypoole has a broad PIL practice; and Sophie Lamb QC and Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert, who divides his time between London and Hamburg, are highly rated for international arbitration work. Samuel Pape and Robert Price provide notable associate-level support.
‘As a major international firm LW have the ability to offer very high class teams to offer the fullest service and the highest quality work for their clients.’
‘Charles Claypoole and Sebastian Seelman-Eggebert are the lead partners with whom I have worked most closely. They have encyclopaedic knowledge of investment treaty law and exceptionally sound judgement.’
‘Tom Lane is simply the best associate I have worked with in almost three decades. He has a unique ability to master the facts and the law and to exercise the soundest of judgement in the most complex of cases even where the materials run to 100s of files. He is also extremely down to earth and never lets ego get in the way. He just delivers a first class job for his clients.’
‘Sophie Lamb is a top-notch legal expert in international arbitration. Her knowledge, range of skills, and ability to “think out of the box” and to provide creative solutions all make her stand out among experts of the same experience and rank. Sophie is a wonderful person to work with and is an excellent team player, highly recommended.’
‘Extremely well-organised and professional. Highest level of knowledge and expertise in public international law.’
‘Sebastian Seelman-Eggebert and Charles Claypoole are excellent team leaders – very well-organised and focused. They have a first-rate associate in Tom Lane. Charles is one of the most knowledgeable law firm partners in the field of public international law.’
Government of Ukraine
Ipek Investment Limited
Republic of Croatia
Mauritian Property Partnerships
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Securitisation Tier 2
Latham & Watkins continues to build up its securitisation practice, which has become increasingly involved in both public deals and private transactions. Though not seeking to be a high-volume player, the firm acts for funds, private equity houses, banks, issuers, sovereign wealth funds and other financial institutions in some of the most sophisticated and innovative transactions in the UK and European markets. The practice has considerable experience in ABS securitisation, cash and synthetic deals and CLOs, and it is heavily involved in structuring transactions to comply with US and European risk retention and disclosure requirements. It is undertakes work in emerging and niche asset classes such as aircraft leases, handset receivables, consumer loans, dealer notes and floor plan financing. Its innovative work is highlighted by its advice to JPMorgan on the securitisation of loans to micro-finance and SME-finance institutions in emerging markets. Sanjev Warna-Kula-Suriya leads the practice in which Jeremiah Wagner is a standout partner for securitisations and other asset-backed US-registered public offerings. The vastly experienced Stephen Curtis joined from Clifford Chance LLP in early 2020. Thomas Cochran, who handles trade receivables deals and CLOs, is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
The Carlyle Group
Royal Dutch Shell
London Stock Exchange
Samba Financial Group
Renesas Corporation and affiliates
Sinovac Biotech Limited
Emerging markets Tier 3
Latham & Watkins is a prominent player in key areas of finance in emerging markets, not least debt capital markets. Co-head of debt capital markets Lene Malthasen has expertise in 144A issuances and liability management transactions, with particular experience working in Russia, the CIS, the Middle East, Southern Europe and the Far East. Fellow co-head David Stewart is based in both the London and Moscow offices. The firm also has substantial expertise in project development and finance; John Balsdon frequently handles oil and gas projects in emerging markets. In addition, the firm has a busy Turkey desk, overseen by corporate partner Olof Clausson, which handles M&A, capital markets, projects and arbitration.
Environment Tier 3
Led by Paul Davies, who demonstrates an 'unparalleled understanding of China environmental issues, as well as being a leading UK and EU environmental lawyer', the team at Latham & Watkins primarily advises on environmental transactions in the chemicals and energy sectors. Offering 'practical advice backed by genuine experience and solid foresight', it also has expertise assisting with the establishment of new energy plants, the environmental aspects of M&A transactions, product regulatory issues, and carbon allowances and carbon trading matters. In addition to its oil and gas specialism, the team is also instructed by real estate and private equity clients.
‘Latham & Watkins’s real estate and environment team combines its deep understanding of the regulatory regimes and multiple industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, and so many more. They are extremely good at being on top of regulatory risks and potential opportunities for global jurisdictions in which the clients operate.’
‘Strongly positioned with the US practice, international in outlook. Innovative and intelligent.’
‘Paul Davies, a leading partner at LW’s environment practice group, is always proactive with his insight in regulatory challenges faced by global companies. Because of his top notch expertise, he is respected by both global businesses and regulators in multiple countries. In emerging markets such as China, the environmental regulators treat him as a world class authority on enforcement, permitting, and green finance issues. That trust makes him an invaluable source for global businesses to engage with China on both strategic and project levels.’
‘Paul Davies – superbly client focused and a very versatile lawyer.’
SABIC UK Petrochemicals Ltd
The Carlyle Group
EU and competition Tier 3Distinguished by its ‘thoughtful and commercial analysis’, Latham & Watkins’ ‘wonderful’ team is known for its complex work on mergers, regulatory investigations and competition enforcement. The department bolstered its antitrust capabilities with the arrival of David Little from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in October 2019. In addition to its London presence, the team is also able to rely on the firm’s offering in Brussels, the US and Asia. Jonathan Parker formerly occupied a high position at the Competition and Mergers Authority and shares leadership of the practice with John Colahan, who has significant contentious and non-contentious experience.
‘Latham and Watkins’ London competition team is first class, easily comparing to any other leading firm in London. They mix a top merger practice with other aspects of contentious and non-contentious competition law matters.’
‘Jonathan Parker is undoubtedly a leading UK merger lawyer of his generation but is also equally at home in cartel matters, abuse of dominance, and competition litigation. He is destined for great things. He is well supported by new hire, David Little and an able associate team.’
‘Provide thoughtful, commercial analysis of the issues, and leverage the considerable intellectual heft of their colleagues from other departments whenever needed.’
‘Very creative and convey a sense of being genuinely invested when seeking solutions to otherwise-intractable issues. That combination of creativity and shared-ownership of the problems sets them apart’.
‘John Colahan: excellent understanding of the workings of the CMA. An excellent partner who can get deals through – he has great strategic and tactical guile’
‘David Little: a very solid recent addition to the Latham team. They have done well.’
‘Latham & Watkins has a wonderful, broad team of lawyers in its London and Brussels offices offering EU and competition services. It is the ability to offer both excellent deal services and Article 101 / 102 experience (and national equivalents) that sets it apart from many firms.’
‘Excellent UK experience and a “go to” for UK merger matters.’
Electro Rent Corporation
Thomas Cook Group
InterXion Holding N.V.
ACCO Brands Corporation
‘Dedicated team of professional who react quickly, and have always considered all implications to questions or topics raised. Great knowledge of corporate transactions and very quick to learn industry specific nuances.‘
‘Always willing and keen to engage, and come back in response to instructions amazingly quickly. Their advise and participation is excellent, well thought through and precise and clear. They also speak in layman’s tongue which for a client is so helpful and makes the whole experience pleasurable.‘
‘Strength in depth. Lots of sector specific experience in pharma. US strength is highly beneficial for cross border deals.‘
Alliance Pharma plc
Domestic & General
Venator Materials plc
Mining and minerals Tier 3
Latham & Watkins advises on the full range of matters in the mining and metals sector, from mineral exploration to large-scale mining activity. The team assists a wide range of clients including mining and metals companies, project sponsors, governments, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions. Key clients include EVRAZ plc and the Republic of Colombia. Craig Nethercott heads up the practice.
Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.
Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C.
Mubadala Development Company PJSC
Royal Hill Mining
Latham & Watkins combines regular mandates from large-cap private equity funds with strong debt and credit, infrastructure, and real estate funds capabilities, with the London team benefiting from the firm's transatlantic platform and fund formation capabilities. Mandates include fund formations and raisings, investment strategies, and GP-led secondaries. The team has won work from major sponsors including Carlyle, CDPQ, and CIC during 2019. The practice is led by the highly experienced Nick Benson, who has a broad practice encompassing fundraisings and investments for venture capital and early stage funds, major buyout houses, and institutional investors. James McCrory advises major sponsors and investors on raisings and transactions, and also specialises in European regulatory advice.
Other key lawyers:
Very strong and professional team. A lot of relevant experience, quick responses, organised, always answers to the point.
We mostly work with Nick Benson. In all our experience of working with different lawyers, Nick stands out as the best partner when it comes to Fund formation, establishment and operation. Nick has a lot of experience, is aware of different specifics. Always approachable, quick in replies.
A skilled team with depth and breadth. High levels of technical knowledge. Creative. Punctual. Well resourced and no-fuss. Complete performance. Less swarf than other firms.
Intelligent and personable with deep knowledge.
A fairly small team but they more than make up for it with the quality of their advice and work product. Latham would be my go-to firm for any private fund. The depth of knowledge and experience is second to none, with thoughtful, prompt and efficient advice. They are all incredibly pragmatic, commercial,cost-conscious and make a point of understanding our business.
James McCrory is one of the most talented funds lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Not only is he technically brilliant (with an ability to speak in normal language), he is a joy to work with, always managing to bring a smile to a conversation. He understands exactly what you want to achieve and always finds a way to do it.
James McCrory goes the extra mile for clients and is not only technically excellent but also very commercial. He takes the lead and anticipates what will be required and gets on with helping to reach a deal. He is also fun to work with always a plus.
China Investment Corporation
‘In Jon Holland, Latham & Watkins have a first rate practitioner who has led teams advising clients on a number of complex global regulatory investigations’.
‘Jon Holland understands the particular challenges presented by dealing with regulators in the context of investigations and knows from experience how to address those challenges’.
A group of UK, US and Singapore-based individuals, both current and former employees of a leading US-based investment bank
A UK-regulated wholesale provider of emerging market banking and other financial services
Global bank headquartered in the EU
Global Asset Manager
Japanese headquartered bank
The UK branch of a US-based brokerage firm
Co-headed by Mohamed Nurmohamed and Sam Hamilton, the 'very strong' finance team at Latham & Watkins has 'impressive breadth and depth' for lenders and borrowers on deals implementing debt from throughout the capital structure and spanning UK and US loan and capital markets products. Although the firm has built its name in London as a result of its market-leading leveraged finance offering, its strong investment banking relationships also ensure that it regularly picks up its fair share of syndicated loans work and investment grade M&A financings. Recently appointed as managing partner of the firm, Stephen Kensell maintains an active creditor-side finance practice which includes investment grade M&A and IPO-related finance.
The Carlyle Group
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Corporate tax Tier 4Latham & Watkins' tax group advises on M&A, private equity and capital markets transactions, with a notable offering for cross-border work. The group is led by Sean Finn. Karl Mah takes the lead on tax issues arising from banking and capital markets transactions.
Other key lawyers:
‘Latham Watkins’ tax team offers pragmatic and user-friendly advice. They predominantly act for us in the corporate loans space and give sensible and considered advice, and are also good at helping intermediate if less mainstream jurisdictions are involved.’
‘Karl Mah combines a very sharp intellect with a pragmatic approach and very clear communications skills – he is very good at distilling all the challenging technical points into clear advice for his clients.’
Thomas Cook plc
The Carlyle Group
Public Sector Pension Investment Board
Life sciences and healthcare Tier 4
Latham & Watkins undertakes extensive corporate and financial strategic transactions, particularly acquisitions, and has strength in US matters. Robbie McLaren co-heads the corporate department and Gail Crawford is the global co-chair of the technology transactions group and chair of the data privacy committee. Senior associate Frances Stocks Allen advises on areas including IP licensing, other commercial transactions and GDPR issues. International collaborations for the development, manufacture and commercialisation of biotech, pharmaceutical and medtech products, and venture and growth capital investments are some of the areas handled by the group.
‘Strength in depth. Lots of sector-specific experience in pharma. US strength is highly beneficial for cross-border deals.’
‘They focus on life sciences and have specialist knowledge of how to look at that sector.’
‘Robbie McClaren is pragmatic and responsive.’
‘Eliot Choy has excellent pharma sector knowledge.’
‘I value Robbie McLaren’s down-to-earth, approachable attitude. He is always positive and makes a good impression with the other side. He is also pragmatic in solving problems and able to use his judgement to find solutions – he’s not interested in just reporting back the issues.’
‘Frances Stocks Allen stands out as a rising star. She is highly knowledgeable and always available, with a pragmatic approach, good business acumen and short response times.’
CVC Capital Partners
Property finance Tier 4
Latham & Watkins’ particular forte is in handling complex commercial mortgage transactions, often with a pan-European dimension. As global co-chair of the firm’s real estate practice, Jeremy Trinder is well placed to handle cross-border mandates, as evidenced by his recent instruction by Cerberus on acquisition and loan-on-loan financing for Spanish property portfolios. Quentin Gwyer is an expert in both the debt and equity aspects of real estate financing.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong market knowledge. They work on complex transactions and they have a great network. Their partners are very good and their associates are top quality so you get consistent high-quality work and attention to detail.’
‘I think the one thing that sets them apart is that they do a lot of borrower work as well, so when acting for the lender they tend to deliver the tough messages in a way that borrowers understand.’
‘Jeremy Trinder is very commercial and has a wealth of experience.’
‘The practice is led by a technically excellent, affable and practical partner in Jeremy Trinder. There is no issue too big or small that he won’t help with. Resources are appropriately allocated and timelines are managed properly. Communications are quick and clear.’
Blackrock Real Estate Debt
Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies
Mount Street Mortgage Servicing
CBRE Loan Servicing Limited
Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation
AGC Equity Partners
Round Hill Capital
HPS Investment Partners
Energy Capital Partners
Venture capital Tier 4
Headed up by Robbie McLaren, Latham & Watkins' emerging companies practice received a major boost as a result of the arrival of Mike Turner from Taylor Wessing LLP and Shing Lo from Bird & Bird LLP in early 2020. Both practitioners have strong expertise acting for investors and investees, with Lo, in particular, noted for her 'wealth of experience advising companies on early rounds of equity'. Following the expansion, the team is able to effectively guide technology companies through initial funding rounds and on to a trade sale or IPO on a London or US exchange.
‘The Latham & Watkins team has depth and breadth, particularly in its London practice. I’m always looking for what gives me confidence that we’re getting the right balance between our legal position and pragmatic business realities. L&W gave me that confidence in a major and complex transaction.’
‘Team has recently grown by the addition of known names in the industry, making it a leading VC practice. Hugely experienced team.’
‘Mike Turner – vastly experienced and a “go to” lawyer in the sector.’
‘Shing Lo brings a wealth of experience to the team, expanding on the early stage advice, and rounding the team out.’
Union Square Ventures
Sport Tier 5Latham & Watkins took a significant step in the London sports market with the hire of new practice head Patrick Mitchell from DLA Piper in late 2019. Mitchell handles sponsorship and media rights agreements and joins a fast-growing City team with top-tier capabilities across M&A, finance, competition and disputes. Notable clients include the International Olympic Committee and the English Football League.
English Football League
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Dutch Formula One Grand Prix
Silver Lake Partners
F.C. Internazionale Milano
Employers Tier 6The London benefits, compensation and employment team at Latham & Watkins provides strategic support to companies and boards of directors, including on M&A deals, restructurings and outsourcings. Other areas of work include senior executive hires and termination, and defending discrimination and harassment claims.
Latham & Watkins > Firm Profile
Latham & Watkins is a leading international law firm with renowned practices across a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate and regulatory areas.
The firm: Latham boasts an award-winning London office recognised for its handling of complex cross-border matters for corporates, investment banks, private equity houses and governments in the UK and throughout the world.
Types of work undertaken
Banking and leveraged finance: Latham has a leading finance practice known in the market for its unique ability to be able to transition seamlessly between all forms of senior and subordinated loan, bond, ‘bank and bond’ and hybrid capital structures. The group regularly advises arrangers, lenders, sponsors and/or other borrowers on all types of leveraged and acquisition finance whether the governing law is English, New York, French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish.
Capital markets: Latham is one of the world’s most active capital markets firms, with vast experience representing underwriters and issuers in debt and equity financing transactions, and is recognised as a market leader in high-yield debt work. Latham’s lawyers handle rights offerings, IPOs, eurobond financings, senior note offerings, high-yield, senior secured debt, and other global equity and debt-related issues.
Derivatives: Latham’s practice is both transactional and advisory. The group acts for both financial institutions and non-financial corporate clients with respect to the full range of over-the-counter (OTC) and exchange-traded derivative products.
Dispute resolution: the London practice boasts market-leading experts who specialise in complex cross-border litigation, arbitration, public international law, intellectual property and white-collar disputes.
EU and competition: Latham’s premier competition law team operates at both EU and member state levels. In London, Latham has an extensive merger control and antitrust investigations and counselling practice. Latham is one of the few firms with a market-leading criminal cartel defence and civil antitrust litigation experience.
M&A and private equity: a market-leading practice that specialises in advising leading corporates, private equity sponsors, funds and investment banks on complex cross-border transactions.
Project finance: consistently ranked among the world’s top global projects firms, Latham’s lawyers have represented sponsors, lenders (including ECAs, IFIs, conventional and Islamic debt providers) and governments in more than 1,000 projects over the last 20 years.
Restructuring and insolvency: the top-ranking practice represents debtors and creditors on workouts, restructurings and insolvencies. Latham is one of the few firms to combine leading finance capabilities with a knowledge of the high-yield bond and private placement markets, with comprehensive cross-border restructuring expertise.
Structured finance: a diverse practice representing financial institutions and issuers on complex and ground-breaking structured finance transactions across a wide spectrum of asset types, with specialist advice on Basel II and the new Basel III framework.
Tax: Latham offers integrated, multi-jurisdictional tax capabilities, developing practical solutions to complex international tax problems, including advising on cross-border M&A, private equity and securities offerings, planning for multinationals and international tax controversies.
Technology and outsourcing: recognised for the strength of its legal and commercial expertise in expert IT outsourcings, the team counsels leading clients in relation to the acquisition, development, protection, exploitation, licensing and sale of technology.
Environmental: the practice provides advice to clients on the environmental aspects of corporate transactions, contaminated land and regulatory issues, product-related issues, environmental risk and climate change.
Investment funds: the practice advises sponsors and investors on the structuring, marketing and operation of investment funds across a variety of strategies (including buyout, growth, credit, infrastructure and real estate) and jurisdictions.
Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington DC
|Managing partner||Stephen Kensell|
|Banking and leveraged finance||Mo Nurmohamed|
|Capital markets||James Inness and Chris Horton|
|Dispute resolution||Martin Davies|
|Employment and benefits||Catherine Drinnan|
|EU and competition||Jonathan Parker|
|High yield||Brett Cassidy|
|International arbitration||Philip Clifford QC and Sophie Lamb QC|
|IT and outsourcing||Andrew Moyle|
|Mergers and acquisitions||Mike Bond|
|Private equity||David Walker|
|Public international law||Charles Claypoole|
|Real estate||Jeremy Trinder|
|Restructuring and insolvency||Simon Baskerville|
|Scandinavia practice||Sam Hamilton|
|Securitisation and structured finance||Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya|
|Venture capital and investment funds||Nick Benson|
|James Burnett||James Burnett is a partner in the London office of Latham &…||View Profile|
|John Colahan||John Colahan is a partner in Latham & Watkins’ London office. Prior…||View Profile|
|Gail Crawford||Partner||View Profile|
|Stuart Davis||Partner||View Profile|
|Thomas Forschbach||Thomas Forschbach is a partner in Latham & Watkins’ London and Paris…||View Profile|
|Fiona Maclean||Partner||View Profile|
|Andrew Moyle||Partner||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of UK fee-earners : 250
Student (The Lex 100 )
The Lex 100 Verdict'You never feel like a small cog in a large machine' at US firm Latham & Watkins. The modest trainee intake, which 'is not dauntingly low either', gives way to 'lean deal teams', something which attracted many of the current cohort to the prestigious firm. 'High-value deals' and an 'upward trajectory in the market' were also enticing prospects. The best things about Latham & Watkins is its 'people', 'the opportunities to learn' and the high level of diversity and inclusiveness; the firm has amassed an impressive eight Lex 100 Winner awards this year. Recruits feel that they receive 'much more responsibility than trainees at Magic and Silver Circle firms', albeit training is a little less structured. The benefit is that 'although this can be daunting at first, it is beneficial to our development and eases the transition to qualifying as an associate'. Somewhat inevitably, the workload at Latham can be heavy: 'serving industry-leading clients whilst continuing to grow practices is very exciting but it can lead to longer hours than you might experience at other firms', warns one trainee. An 'all-nighter' and a 'string of very long days in the run up to a closing' are such examples. Generally though, we hear that 'work is shared out pretty effectively so that you're not always operating at 1% capacity'. Work highlights include 'attending hearings', 'working on deals with only one other associate or partner' and 'closing a deal which had been ongoing for over two and a half years'. To work at a firm with a 'democratic leadership style' which offers plenty of trainee responsibility and a 'multicultural working environment', take a look at Latham & Watkins.
Transacting with troubled companies: navigating stressed, distressed, and insolvent acquisitionsThe Covid-19 pandemic has brought about significant challenges for many businesses, and a heightened risk of financial difficulty and insolvency. While the number of formal insolvencies has been relatively low thus far, troubled businesses may be forced to pursue accelerated asset disposals, or may themselves present an attractive investment opportunity for new equity stakeholders capable …
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Acquisition finance
- Corporate restructuring & insolvency
- Energy and infrastructure
- Equity capital markets - mid-high cap
- Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- High yield
- Infrastructure (PFI and PPP)
- Oil and gas
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
- Debt capital markets
- Derivatives and structured products
- Financial services: contentious
- Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory
- International arbitration
- IT and telecoms
- Media and entertainment (including media finance)
- Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+)
- Public international law
- Commercial litigation: premium
- Emerging markets
- EU and competition
- M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+
- Mining and minerals
- Private funds (including infrastructure funds)
- Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates)
- Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
- Corporate tax
- Life sciences and healthcare
- Property finance
- Venture capital